Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had his Twitter account suspended on Wednesday, October 28, for 20 hours. Twitter's basis for that action, according to The Federalist, was that he "apparently violat[ed] platform rules governing 'hateful conduct'". What kind of hateful conduct? He had tweeted about "the wall", or more precisely, barriers along the Southwest border. Respectfully, social media — as well as traditional media — has become unhinged on the topic, because what Morgan said was true.
Twitter eventually restored the tweet in question (which also includes some fairly anodyne video of barrier construction) after Morgan called out their behavior.
It’s a fact, walls work. pic.twitter.com/uT5qP7fmNu
— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) October 28, 2020
Curiously, although they initially blocked that tweet, Twitter nonetheless was the vehicle for Morgan's rejoinders:
Back online after Twitter lock out for ~20 hours. @Twitter’s censorship should outrage every American. Not only did Twitter block me from posting, they BLOCKED YOU from the TRUTH.
Read my statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/tjNgLn5knx
— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) October 29, 2020
.@Twitter LOCKED my account for informing the American people about the WALL
Twitter DENIED my appeal of their BIASED CENSORSHIP
The American People RESPONDED and stood up for FREE SPEECH
Twitter states that they made an ERROR and restores access
This. Must. Stop. pic.twitter.com/XswC4VnYLO
— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) October 30, 2020
How, exactly, is what Morgan originally said "hateful"? The statements therein are true, and for proof, you need look no further than CBP's own media releases.
On Monday, Border Patrol agents in Calexico (Calif.) arrested two men — 20 minutes apart — who they saw entering the United States illegally. Both were Mexican nationals, and both were identified as being documented members of the Sureño gang. The first was deported in August 2003, the second had multiple removals — the last in August 2017.
Why had the latter gentleman been deported? Well, he had a felony conviction for "Force Assault with Deadly Weapon not a Firearm" in 1998 for which he was sentenced to three years, and in 2003, was convicted of "Robbery: Second Degree, Great Bodily Injury Using a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon with Previous Felony Conviction", for which he got 15 years.
There are barriers in Calexico, which likely greatly assisted Border Patrol in those apprehensions.
On October 1, Border Patrol agents from Laredo Sector apprehended several aliens who were unlawfully present from a house on Casa del Sol Boulevard, south of US 59 in the eastern part of the city. One of them was Rodrigo Mercado-Rodriguez, a 53-year-old Mexican national. He was arrested for murder in Prospect Heights, Ill., in 1999. Mercado-Rodriguez was convicted for that crime, and sentenced to 25-years' confinement. He also had been previously deported.
In February, I wrote about the lack of infrastructure along the border in Laredo. That sector only has 1,800 Border Patrol employees to keep watch on 171 miles of border. They are assisted in that effort by just 7.1 miles of improved road for agents to access and one aerostat. And the only barrier in the sector consists of ornamental fencing at Laredo College.
Well, last Monday must have been a busy day in Calexico, because agents there arrested another man they saw entering illegally, a 42-year-old Mexican who had been convicted on January 10, 2010, for "Coercion with Force or Threat of Force-E/Sex" in Las Vegas.
On Tuesday, agents near San Miguel (Ariz.) tracked and arrested 29-year-old Guatemalan national Honorio Perez after he entered illegally. He had been convicted of sexual offenses against a child in Floyd County, Ga., in 2012, and removed after doing his time for that offense in 2017. There are only sporadic barriers near San Miguel, which is on land that is part of the Tohono O'odham Nation.
In a six-day period this month, Border Patrol agents from the Del Rio Sector arrested six different sex offenders. One was a Mexican national with a conviction for "Indecency with a Child" (he got one year), another a Honduran national with a conviction for "Indecency with a Child Sexual Contact" in San Antonio (he got four years).
Both convictions were out of Texas, both aliens had been previously deported, both had reentered illegally. And both are facing 20 years for illegal reentry. There are short sections of barriers between Del Rio and Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico.
You can check out how sporadic the barriers there are in my August 22, 2017, post "View of the Border from the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio" (locals credit them for cutting down the crime rate). Aside from that? Nothing for miles, but new barriers are slated to be erected in the sector.
As for drugs (unlike the barriers) I could go on forever. In FY 2020, Border Patrol seized 15,360 pounds of cocaine, 546 pounds of heroin, 20,795 pounds of methamphetamine, 809 pounds of fentanyl, and more than 128 tons of marijuana. But I will share my favorite.
On Tuesday in Nogales (Ariz.), Border Patrol agents spotted a rope going through the fence near the Morley Pedestrian Port of Entry at 5:00 AM. Attached were 52 packets containing 59 pounds of methamphetamine (street value $116,000). This gets better.
Because another agent saw an SUV speeding away nearby. The SUV was found abandoned with the engine running. Inside, agents found more rope, and a remote control toy car, which they "suspect was used to guide the rope and drugs through the fence." Had there been no fence, this rather complicated ruse would not have been necessary. Dryly, CBP reports: "The SUV, remote control toy car and drugs were seized."
There is nothing hateful about any of those arrests and apprehensions, or about Morgan stating that barriers help CBP "stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country", either. The facts are the facts.
Nor is the acting commissioner likely to be a "hater" in any event. Morgan, who was assistant director of the FBI's training division, was made Border Patrol chief by President Obama in 2016 (in a move opposed by the Border Patrol agents union at the time; they have likely changed their opinion). President Trump actually fired him from that position shortly after the inauguration, before later tapping him to head ICE. He thereafter came over to CBP in June 2019.
Rather, it would appear that Twitter has become unhinged on those barriers, or on the implication that it would "stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country", or that gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drug smugglers are attempting to enter illegally. Whatever. All are true.
Or maybe President Obama is a hater, too. As noted, he hired Morgan to begin with, and built 130 miles of wall and fencing during his administration, to boot.